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Thread: Straight Razors Dull Despite Little Use

  1. #1
    Senior Member rickytimothy's Avatar
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    Default Straight Razors Dull Despite Little Use

    One of these razors was sent to me by PaulFLUS from here on SRP, the other is a Dovo Razor that I got sharpened by a local in my city. Both of them were sharpened to brand new condition in early 2021.

    Long story short, I got sick and barely touched either of these for about 1.5 years, maybe 2-3 shaves each. Now neither of them will cut a piece of hair anywhere on the blade. If I take a hair off my head and drag it all the way down the blade, it comes off unscathed basically.

    I have a 1k stone, 4k/8k naniwa stone, and a 3 micron cloth polishing wheel, as well as microscopes to look at edges with. I have no idea if they just dulled this much by existing for 1.5 years, or if they got rolled on a strop, or something similar, but if I needed to I could probably take a look at the edge with a microscope and see.

    I have essentially no useful experience with sharpening razors. I had a zoom session with gssixgun about 2 years ago, but have never been able to get a useable edge on my own so far (haven't tried in a long time, though) so I'm more or less re-learning from scratch now.

    Where should I start with restoring the edge on these razors?

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  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    Hey man! Glad to see you back in good shape. An edge will oxidize over time even if unused. I would recommend trying a pasted strop or flax linen first. If that fails to improve them I would consider a touch up.
    Remember that one I sent you was honed with one layer of Scotch 700 electrical tape.
    Iron by iron is sharpened, And a man sharpens the face of his friend. PR 27:17

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I agree with Paul. I think I see some micr chips on the edge in the middle picture.

    Using a pasted strop after a good linen stropping might bring them back to shaving readiness.

    If that does not work, I suggest breadknifing the edge by LIGHTLY running the edge over the edge of your 8K and then using several X strokes on the 8k to bring the edge back. Then follow up with the pasted strop and see if that helps
    David
    “Shared sorrow is lessened, shared joy is increased”
    ― Spider Robinson, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon

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    Senior Member blabbermouth outback's Avatar
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    For guys new to honing... This takes a little time, touching back up a razor on your finishing hone. U may be looking at a 1/2 hour or more, depending on your abilities. Especially if theirs chipping.

    Maybe send um back to Paul, have I'm touch them back up for ya.

  5. #5
    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    I'll be glad to do that. I'll send you a PM.
    Iron by iron is sharpened, And a man sharpens the face of his friend. PR 27:17

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    Senior Member rickytimothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DZEC View Post
    I agree with Paul. I think I see some micr chips on the edge in the middle picture.

    Using a pasted strop after a good linen stropping might bring them back to shaving readiness.

    If that does not work, I suggest breadknifing the edge by LIGHTLY running the edge over the edge of your 8K and then using several X strokes on the 8k to bring the edge back. Then follow up with the pasted strop and see if that helps
    By "LIGHTLY" should I assume you mean literally zero pressure other than gravity? Otherwise I don't see how you could do that at all without totally destroying the edge. I don't have a pasted strop, all I have is 1k stone, 4k/8k, micron cloth, strop with nice linen. I guess I could try the linen side of the strop and see if it helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by outback View Post
    For guys new to honing... This takes a little time, touching back up a razor on your finishing hone. U may be looking at a 1/2 hour or more, depending on your abilities. Especially if theirs chipping.

    Maybe send um back to Paul, have I'm touch them back up for ya.
    I don't have a finishing hone, I have a polishing wheel with 3 micron cloth (some people say not to try that). I could get one though.

    Time is no object here, I bought these stones with the explicit goal of learning how to hone well myself, which is also why paul sent me the razor. I am more than happy to dump hours into this until I get decent at it.

    It is pretty unfortunate though that half the point of that was to familiarize myself with what a properly honed blade feels like, so that it would be easier to evaluate the results of my own honing, only to then not be able to use it for a straight year. I did use it enough to get the idea though, I think.

    Actually I just tried checked the blade again, it did catch and cut a loose piece of hair in a few areas, and did just fine shaving down my arm, so maybe I'm exaggerating how bad the edge is. This other cheap antique blade I'm trying to hone fails miserably at catching any hair at all, I will be much more aggressive trying to hone that one.

  8. #7
    Senior Member rickytimothy's Avatar
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    What would you recommend for a finishing stone for rare use, while we're at it? I'm not afraid to spend money on high quality products by any means, but I feel like those nice $100+ diamond finishing hones would be very overkill for someone who pulls it out once a year.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    Oh, so you do have a linen strop. That should bring back that one I sent you. That and a good stropping up through smooth leather should put that back in shave ready condition. I know I said an edge will oxidize if left sitting but in a year, year and a half not more than a good stropping will take care of.

    Edit: I'll still send you that cotton pasted strop I pm'd you about.
    Last edited by PaulFLUS; 12-17-2022 at 06:37 PM.
    Iron by iron is sharpened, And a man sharpens the face of his friend. PR 27:17

  10. #9
    Senior Member rickytimothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulFLUS View Post
    Oh, so you do have a linen strop. That should bring back that one I sent you. That and a good stropping up through smooth leather should put that back in shave ready condition. I know I said an edge will oxidize if left sitting but in a year, year and a half not more than a good stropping will take care of.
    I suppose if left for a long time, the stropping should be substantially longer than a regular stropping would be? I did strop it but it didn't seem to make a huge difference. Could easily be mediocre techniques or insufficient time at play.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth outback's Avatar
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    For years, the 8k was the bench mark edge.
    You have the 8k Naniwa, it will produce a good shaving edge all by itself. Even better if stroped with razor grade Cr/Ox. Or buy a 12k Naniwa, the new benchmark.

    Other than that,you need at least a 1k to set the bevel properly. If your bevel isn't right, the rest is wasted time.
    Last edited by outback; 12-17-2022 at 06:49 PM.
    Mike

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